News 24 (SA)
St Lucia - An endangered black rhino
had to be shot dead on Tuesday when it attacked a group of tourists
on a four-day trail in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi
park in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
Jeff Gaisford, spokesperson for the
provincial conservation agency Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, said two
brothers were injured.
part of a group led by two armed rangers and were walking along
a game path on open ground near the White Mfolozi River when
the rhino attacked.
A rhino that had been at the river appeared up a bank about 30m ahead
of them and the rangers immediately took the group into the shelter
of some scrub nearby," he said.
But the rhino left the trail
and charged at the patch of scrub, ignoring shouts and warning
shots fired by the rangers.
The animal knocked
down Mark Crozier (34) and his brother Sean, as well a third trailist.
When a fourth person broke cover and
the rhino charged him, one of the rangers fired a shot and killed
The injured were
given first aid treatment and the rangers radioed for help. Mark
Crozier, who sustained injuries to his chest, was
taken to a medical facility, while his brother was treated by a
doctor in Mtubatuba.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife staff went to
the scene on Wednesday and found that the black rhino was a known
bull, but was way out
of his territory.
There were serious horn wounds around
its scrotum indicating that it had been in a fight and had probably
been displaced from its territory
by a younger male.
This would explain the animal's unusual and aggressive behaviour," said
The decision to shoot the black rhino was a most difficult one as
the species is endangered and is extremely valuable biologically," he
Ezemvelo KZN Wildife CEO Mr Khulani
Mkhize, said: "Although
we are pleased and relieved that the Crozier brothers survived, we
nevertheless regret the loss of a very valuable black rhino, but
in cases like this where staff have a responsibility to protect the
lives of people in their care, we have no alternative but to take
strong action." he said. - African Eye News Service